Functional Medicine has been defined as the medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving holistic or alternative methods of healing. Chiropractic, acupuncture, healthy eating, nutritional supplements, health coaching, applied kinesiology, and energetic healing are some of those methods.
We like to think of Functional Medicine as being proactive healthcare, looking at the whole person and seeking to understand the root cause of the symptoms a person is experiencing. We are more interested in answering “why” the symptoms exist than naming the condition. What is causing the patient to feel the way they do? This takes the current medical disease-centered approach and changes it to a patient-centered approach. The physician and patient discuss their individual health challenges and mutually agree on the course of treatment.
We often remark to our friends, patients, and other physicians that we feel so lucky to have chosen the Chiropractic profession. This healing paradigm has empowered us to teach our family and our patients’ families holistically in a time of tremendous hi-tech over-stimulation (including TV ads that claim drugs can heal everything from painful feet to migraines). It has also assisted our peers, our parents, and ourselves, as we are getting older. Choosing a health FIRST approach, before drugs or surgery, has worked for us personally, as well as our family and our patients. If we had gone into another profession it is very likely that we would have taken the direction of most Americans: treating the symptom and not the cause. When patients visit their medical doctor, they may be prescribed a drug for a symptom and not find out why—or what is causing the symptom. These initial indications, if not treated properly, with time could lead to much more serious health challenges. As a pharmacist friend of mine says, “drugs are all toxic, with a few beneficial side effects.”
The key to reversing the rapidly spreading epidemic of chronic disease is to address the underlying causes and solutions, which are primarily driven by the lifelong daily interaction of an individual’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Functional Medicine allows us to be proactive in our approach to health.
Jeff Bland, PhD, the founding father of Functional Medicine, says to be proactive we must be guided by the following principles:
* Recognize the biochemical individuality of each person
* Treat the cause of disease, rather than focus on the symptom
* Acknowledge the dynamic balance of external and internal influences on an individual’s health and well-being
* Use the interconnectedness of body systems for safe and more effective customized interventions
* Health is not just the absence of disease but a body functioning at full capacity that allows us good energy and the ability to move, think, and function without pain or restriction
If you are someone that can make the commitment to improve the quality of your health, then we can help!
For more information on Functional Medicine go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org.